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CHARLES NICKELL. – Among the young men of ability and energy in the Pacific Northwest who have come to the front through their own efforts is the gentleman whose name is given above. He is a native of the Golden state, having been born at Yreka in 1856.
The advantages for receiving an education in early days were not good; but, notwithstanding this fact, his natural push gave impetus to a spirit to improve each opportunity for storing his mind with that which would fit him for a sphere of usefulness in the future; and so well did he succeed that at the age of thirteen years he was assistant teacher at Yreka with Professor William Duenkal. In 1869 he quit that most trying of all pursuits, and in 1870 entered the office of the Yreka Journal, completing his printer’s apprenticeship in twenty months.
In 1871 he permanently removed to Jacksonville, and worked as compositor and reporter on the Democratic Times until December, 1872, when, at the age of sixteen years, he formed a partnership with P.D. Hull, and launched out as a full-fledged journalist by the purchase of that paper. The great fire in 1873 swept away the office and entire plant in common with other buildings. But the Times existed in a few active brains, not simply in types and plates, and was running as lively as ever in a short time thereafter. In 1874 Mr. Nickell became sole proprietor; and under his personal management it has become a very remunerative property, having a circulation of twenty-five hundred, which is second to no paper published in Oregon outside of Portland. Through its columns Southern Oregon has derived great benefit in the way of advice and advertisement, influencing newcomers to the state to make that section their adopted home. As a writer his style is aggressive, clear and succinct, never aiming at brilliant figures of speech, nor stringing after effect, but appealing directly and understandingly to the minds of all, with a terseness that is commendable. Being a Democrat in politics, the political editorials in the Times herald the principles of that party in unmistakable terms, and champion its leaders. Mr. Nickell has invested his surplus means quite largely in real estate, now owning about six thousand acres of choice land in Southern Oregon, and considerable property in Multnomah county. He is also interested in mercantile pursuits in Jacksonville, and is prominently identified with many of the principal enterprises of Southern Oregon.
Without being an officer-seeker, he has become prominent in politics, and is one of the leaders of the Democracy. He was nominated against his will for state printer in 1886, but owing to political combinations was defeated by a small majority. He is at present president of the Oregon Press Association. In his domestic relations, Mr. Nickell was highly favored, in 1881 having been united in marriage to one of Jacksonville’s most accomplished young ladies, Miss Ella, daughter of Judge P.P. Prim. She was a native of Oregon, and was regarded by all who knew her as an exemplary wife and mother. Her death occurred in the early summer of the present year. Three children, the youngest of whom has since died, with their father, were left to mourn her untimely demise. Mr. Nickell’s resolute spirit meets all life’s experiences with fortitude, and enables him to pursue his duties with energy, notwithstanding this terrible calamity that has befallen him.